Visit Pokhara: Pokhara is yet another mesmerising ‘must-visit’ destination for anyone who wishes to visit Nepal. Positioned at 28.267 latitudes and 53.969 longitudes, the place is lies at the elevation of 1008 metres above the sea-level. However, the altitude of the region varies from 2713 feet to in the south to 5710 feet in the north. The city lies in the Gandaki province (formerly in Western Development Region) and is the capital of the province and headquarter of Kaski district.
After merging of the Lekhnath municipality and Pokhara in May 2017, the city has a title as ‘Pokhara Metropolitan City’. The city lies 200 kilometres west of the Kathmandu. The area spreads around 464.24 square kilometres. As for the climate, the region has a humid subtropical climate. The region receives the highest rainfall and the reason behind the precipitation rate is the sudden escalation of the altitude within the Pokhara region.
Pokhara is one of the adored tourist destinations of Nepal. Around 70% of the tourist who comes to Nepal are recorded to visit Pokhara, which signifies Pokhara as a renowned tourism capital city. The region holds populated by indigenous Magar and Gurung groups followed by Thakali, Brahmin and Chhetri communities. Besides, the region is also known for the recruitment of the elite Gorkha to be deployed in British Army every year. In addition, Pokhara is the gateway for the Annapurna circuit trekking and many of them make this region as their transit for leisure and relaxation before and after the trek.
BEST TIME TO VISIT POKHARA
Pokhara receives a massive number of tourist every year during the month of September to November. The climate is relatively vivid and there is relatively less rainfall during the period. However, for those who are unable to enjoy Pokhara trip during this time are welcome to visit from March to May as the climate is chilling and better for excursion and trekking. For the visitors who fancy hiking, camping, mountain biking and other adventurous sports, the better time would be from December till February, as the Pokhara receives the winter season during these months. However, the winter is not good for sightseeing as the weather is cloudy during the time this might impede you from the splendid view of the massif.
However, Pokhara has a rainy season initiating from June and ending in August. Therefore, the weather can be sloppier to travel leaving you with the least opportunity of enjoying the beauty of Pokhara. However, there are plenty of restaurants and lounges with live music to entertain you during your stay in Pokhara if enjoying nightlife is your cup of tea.
PLACES TO VISIT IN POKHARA
Purano bazaar translated as ‘Old Bazaar’ holds the historical significance in the Pokhara region. If you are into understanding local culture and tradition, this could be your place to visit. Lies at 4 km north to the lakeside, the place inhabites by the Sherpa, Gurkhas and many other communities. Here you will witness a colourful yet vibrant market with local selling spices, fruits, vegetables, other groceries, brass pottery and many more. Some of the temples and shrines along with some picturesque narrow alley and red-brick houses located in the place could allure you. In addition, you might want to interact with the local people there. The place could be yet another place for you to gather some souvenir while you stroll along the bazaar.
Tal Barahi Temple
Another popular place that might intrigue you during your Pokhara visit could be Tal Barahi Temple. A two-storeyed temple, Tal Barahi is named after a Hindu deity, Durga and devotees believe it to the sacred source of spirituality. Located almost in between the pristine Phewa lake, the temple holds the faith of Hindu devotees. Taal Barahi receives thousands of devotees, both internal and external, all the year around. Since the temple lies in the middle of the lake, there will be a number of boats align in ashore to lead you to the temple. One may observe offerings being made to the goddess on Saturdays.
If sailing is your cup of tea, you are definitely going to enjoy Phewa lake. It is the second biggest lake in Nepal and the biggest lake in Pokhara with the area of 4.43 sq. kilometres. The deepest part of the lake is 24 metres. During the month of March to May and September to November, you will behold the pristine water in the lake where you may sailboats accompanied by the local sailor who will guide you to the various spots nearby the lake. On a vivid weather condition, you can also observe the reflection of Mt. Machhapuchhre (also known as Mt. Fishtail) and Mt. Dhaulagiri on the lake surface.
There are several restaurants adjoined to the lake where you might want to relax and enjoy the firsthand stunning view of the Phewa lake. On the other hand, if you have time, you must visit the Tal Barahi temple, which is situated on the same lake, just nearly in the middle of the lake. The eastern side of the lake, also known as the lakeside, could be your another hangout spot to buy a souvenir and enjoy the food as this place hold the best restaurants and hotels in Pokhara.
Located around 10 km southeast of Pokhara, Rupa lake is yet another alluring trip you can make during your stay in Pokhara. The water for the late is accumulated from Talbesi stream and Dhovan river. As a result, the lake can be considered as a semi-freshwater lake. The lake is the third biggest lake in Pokhara is also renowned for various species of waterbirds. With Rupa and Begnas lying next to each other and being separated by the ridge symbolises two eyes of Pokhara. The deepest part of the lake is around 6 metres makes the lake safe for both boatings. Besides, the lake is also known for the fisheries. Many of the local can be seen fish farming as one of the occupations to sustain their living.
Begnas lake is is yet another lake that might intrigue you. Being the second largest lake in Pokhara with the maximum depth of 10 metres. Although the lake receives relatively less number of visitors than Phewa lake, it is yet another destination in Pokhara that is serene and salubrious. You can see the lake water used for irrigation and interact with the locals while boating. The view from the lake is mesmerising too.
Your visit to Pokhara is figuratively unaccomplished if you miss Sarangkot. Sarangkot is famous for the vista you behold from the Sarangkot mountain. On a clear day, you will be able to behold dazzling snow-clad mountains such as Mt. Machhapuchre, Mt. Dhaulagiri and Mt. Annapurna. Located at the height of 1600 metres, the place is a perfect place for viewing the sunshine and sunset. In addition, the place also furnishes excellent spots for photography. Moreover, the place serves the best spot for paragliding and parahawking where you can feel the nature while you take an adventure ride in the air with the hawks that you can feed during your flight.
Peace Pagoda/Shanti Stupa
Peace Pagoda is the Buddhist monastery built in the pagoda fashion and is again another place to visit religion and spirituality is your subject of interest. The monument lies on the top of the Ananda hill at the elevation of 1100 metres. You can observe the Phewa lake in its entirety once you reach the top of the hill. As the name implies, the monument symbolises peace. The monument set up by a monk Morioka Sonin under the guidance of Nichidatsu Fujii, a Buddhist monk and the founder of Nipponzan-Myohoji. Visitors can either hike or take a public or private vehicle to reach Peace Pagoda.
Bindhyabasini Temple is another religious place that signifies Pokhara. The temple is the sacred shrine of Hindus and is considered as the guardian deity. Bindhyabasini temple is the temple for goddess Durga, the goddess of power. The temple holds religious importance to the Hindu devotees. One can observe the sacrifices on Tuesday and Saturday. A number of devotees are seeing during the time of Dashain, the biggest festival of Nepalese. Located at 3000 feet above sea-level, the place furnishes ideal spot for picnic and sightseeing.
The cave is named after the late King Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev. With its discovery in the 1950s by the local shepherds, the cave has become a must-visit tourist destination spot. The cave also represents the large limestone cave. One can observe the statue of Lord Shiva, a god in Hindu mythology, inside the cave. Located at the elevation of 1100 metres, one could experience the water dripping over the head with pitch-black darkness. The trip can be accompanied by another cave called ‘bat cave’, which could interest the biologists.
Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave
The name ‘Gupteshwor’ is made up of two Nepalese words, ‘gupta’ signifying ‘hidden’ and ‘ishwor’ signifying ‘god’. The temple has religious significance and is the shrine of God Shiva. As you descend through a spiral staircase, you will behold some of the modern statues and craving. As you continue the journey, you will encounter the cow’s shed, which again has religious importance. The cave is located opposite of the Devil’s fall.
Devil’s fall (also known as ‘Patale Chango’) is another tourist attraction in Pokhara. The waterfall consists of a gorge where a massive amount of water flows through the gorge. There also exists a wish well where you throw coins and make a wish. The spot is another place to visit Pokhara if you adore photography.
International Mountain Museum
One of the most intriguing visits could be the International Mountain Museum. The museum stores and documents some of the crucial issues related to the mountain and some hidden mysteries related to Mt. Everest. You can also acquire more information on mountains and mountaineering activities when you visit the museum.
Tibetan Refugee Camp
If you are in Pokhara, you should definitely visit the Tibetan Refugee Camp. You will have a chance to behold the monks on their chants and prayers between the serene house with mesmerising prayer flag fluttering. You may also get chance to enjoy some cultural fest if you visit the place during Tibetan New year ie. during January and February.
Apart from the aforementioned destinations, Pokhara has different other activities that you can partake in to make you visit memorable. Few could be:
Adventure seekers, good news! If an adrenaline rush is what you seek, Pokhara has everything to deliver you. Starting from bungee jump to zip flyer, the adventure sports can be extended to ultralight flight and paragliding/parahawking. In addition, if that does not enthral you, you might want to opt for upper Seti rafting. These are the attractions of tourist to visit in Pokhara. Moreover, Pokhara is also the transit to many trekking routes, Annapurna Circuit being the most popular one.
Gurkha Memorial Museum
One of the most interesting places to visit in Pokhara is the Gurkha Memorial Museum, as the name implies is set after the contribution made by the Gurkhas soldiers during their regimental life in the British army. The museum showcases the gallantry during the wars and photographs of a number of the campaign during the association with the British army. The three-storeyed structure embodies the winners of Victoria Cross, the highest medal offered for the bravery in Britain, along with details.
The cost of the trip might vary due to the involuntary hike in the fuel charges and other logistics. The information regarding the issue will be disseminated prior to commencing the trip.
- Taal Barahi Temple
- Bindabyasini Temple
- Phewa Lake
- Gupteshwor Cave
- Devil’s fall
- Enjoying Pokhara nightlife
- & many more